November 2012 -- From Cathann Kress
Five individuals and families were recognized as 2012 Friends of Extension by the Iowa Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national honorary extension fraternity. I was honored to congratulate them as they received the awards at our ISU Extension and Outreach annual conference in October. These Iowans have wholeheartedly supported Extension and Outreach over the years. Their efforts remind us that in Extension and Outreach, we are people advancing people.
We are determined to help Iowa State University reach President Leath’s goal: to become the “partnership university,” the university that best serves its state. As the university’s front line throughout Iowa, Extension and Outreach faculty and staff can identify and develop the partnerships that strengthen the economy, meet our food and environmental challenges, help Iowa become the healthiest state in the nation and help prepare our young people for the future. These efforts build capacity and will help Iowa State better serve the people of Iowa.
As cow-calf and feedlot operators continue to deal with drought related issues, ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Center continue to offer educational opportunities to address ongoing and emerging issues. “Drought – a Game Changer for Beef Operations” is the title of meetings to be held through Dec. 6 across Iowa.
“These fall meetings focus on managing feed costs and alternative feeds for fall and winter feeding for the cow herd or feedlot use,” said Russ Euken, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist. “Developing feeding programs that use available feeds and keep feed costs in check is the goal.”
ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development recently published “Economic Value of Outdoor Recreation Activities in Iowa.” The report is an update of a 2007 study and provides a comprehensive profile of Iowa’s outdoor recreational resources, levels of participation and the economic impact associated with those outdoor activities. The 2012 report also incorporates data regarding how the availability of outdoor recreation can facilitate more physical activity among Iowans, which in turn can contribute to lower health care costs.
Through the Sustainable Economies Program, regional trade centers in rural Iowa are receiving information, tools and mentoring to develop plans for strategic growth; and the rest of the country is taking notice. In October CIRAS received a 2012 Award of Excellence from the University Economic Development Association for leading this ISU Extension and Outreach effort.
“We offer Iowa’s regional trade centers an in-depth economic assessment of their financial, social and environmental well-being — their triple bottom line,” said CIRAS specialist Michael O’Donnell, who directs the program. “The goal is to provide these smaller cities with the data and tools to make effective decisions for long-term success.”
Iowans who are looking for ways to improve their personal or family finances may sign up now for Take Control of Your Money. This self-paced, online workshop is provided free by ISU Extension and Outreach. Instructions for enrolling in the course are available online.
“Whether your goal is to save more, pay down debt, give more to charity or have more money for a certain type of spending, being in control of your money is the key,” said Barb Wollan, an ISU Extension and Outreach family finance specialist. “The focus is on equipping your household to reach your goals, whatever they may be.”
Iowa State University Special Collections documents the university and agricultural and rural life in Iowa, and Iowa 4-H fits with its mission. In addition to the records of 4-H Youth Development, the department houses the papers of several 4-H members and prominent 4-H leaders. Recently the family of Junior Eugene Ellis donated personal 4-H records, awards, news clippings and more from his 4-H years in the 1930s.
“The history of 4-H in Iowa can provide a glimpse into the life stories of thousands of youths growing up in rural Iowa,” said archivist Michele Christian. The department is interested in receiving record books, scrapbooks, photographs, audio and video recordings and other items related to Iowa 4-H.